Matthew McConaughey denies turning down Leonardo DiCaprio role in Titanic

Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor
·2-min read

Matthew McConaughey has denied he turned down Leonardo DiCaprio’s role in Titanic.

The actor confirmed that he screen tested for the part of artist Jack, and thought he had it in the bag, but did not land the role.

The film, directed by James Cameron, made a mega-star out of DiCaprio, while his co-star Kate Winslet was nominated for an Oscar.

Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio with Billy Zane at the premiere of Titanic (Tiziana Sorge/PA)

Speaking to actor Rob Lowe on his podcast Literally!, McConaughey said: “I went and read with Kate Winslet, it wasn’t just an audition, they filmed it so it was like into screen test time.

“I had only got nods from Jim (Cameron), but from the producers and Kate after we left, you know, it was one of those ones where they followed me and when we got outside they were like, ‘That went great’. I mean, kind of, like, hugs.

“I really thought it was going to happen. It did not.

“I asked Cameron about this, because the gossip over the years that I heard and would see written about me was that I had the role in Titanic and turned it down.

“Negative. Not factual. I did not get offered that role.

“I’ve always said I’ve got to find that agent, they are in trouble, but I didn’t ever get the offer and Jim finally confirmed it.

“But that ran for a while and I had to answer that question.”

Lowe confirmed he also went for a role in the 1997 blockbuster, saying he screen tested for the part of Cal Hockley, which went to Billy Zane.